Can you demolish a house protected by a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ)?
A Buzz Facebook reader posed that question last week after noticing a recent demolition at 217 N. Windsor. And after a bit of research, the Buzz learned that yes, you can tear down an existing structure, but it requires a rigorous approval process. The Windsor house is an example of one such project.
The original house had been dramatically altered over the years and was classified as a non-contributing structure in the Windsor Square HPOZ. (In HPOZ terms, “non-contributor” is a euphemism for “a house that has suffered too many makeovers and no longer resembles its original self” or which is built in a time or style much more recent than the majority of buildings in the area.)
In July, the Windsor Square HPOZ board, which oversees compliance with the HPOZ regulations, gave approval to property owner Aaron Park and architect Derek Uskert to demolish the existing 2,831 square foot, one-story house and replace it with a new 3,543 square foot, two-story single-family residence.
All the detailed conditions for approval of the project and construction of the new residence are spelled out in an eight-page Certificate of Compatability prepared by the City Planning Department. The CoC is the city’s official ruling that plans for the new house have been deemed officially compatible with the historic neighborhood and that the permitting and construction process may move forward.